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My Top 6 Reads of 2017

BlogAmanda Walter | Maple Alps6 Comments

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Since I was a child, I have loved reading. I remember getting so car sick when reading on the road, but taking a book regardless and consuming as much as I could before nausea set in. If it was night, there was less nausea, but less light and I'd wait for the stop lights and street lights to illuminate my page so I could get a few more sentences in (I know I wasn't the only one to do there! Where are my bookworms at??). Unfortunately, over the years the time to sit down with a book has become less. This last year I was a little more intentional about my book reading and then it occurred to me that I've never shared any book recommendations on the blog. I've had several people ask me about some of my favourites, so I decided to change that this year.

Because I have such a long commute, audiobooks have been my constant companion. Driving and reading when one is in the driver's seat is not ideal, so I get a good hour and a half of books read to me each work day. I don't mind. Audiobooks also allow me the freedom to use my eyes on other things, like my crochet projects and the muffins in the oven. 

While I have so many favourites, I decided to only share my top six from the year 2017. I chose six because that was the first number that popped into my head.

Top 6 Reads of 2017 | www.maplealps.com
 

1. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

 

Okay, yes, this was kind of late and I missed it while it was more trendy, but oh boy was this a good one! I read it way back in February - twice - and I can't even tell you how many people I recommended it to. I even made my poor husband listen to it on audible. But guys. It was great. It confirmed my minimalistic desires and served as a practical tool as I had already been cleaning out all of my things! Life was good, but got even better after this book. (Get your copy here!)

 

2. The Magnolia Story by Chip and Joanna Gaines

 

Who doesn't love a little bit of Chip and Joanna Gaines? I listened to the audiobook and it was pretty much amazing - mostly because Chip and Jo read it. It made their story come alive, and I came away from it wanting to quit life and start businesses. I didn't, of course, but it was definitely motivating. (Get your copy here)

 

3. Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus by Nabeel Qureshi

 

I laughed, I cried, it moved me. Also read by the author, it was the true story of Nabeel Qureshi and his journey to Christianity. Amazing. (Get your copy here!)

 

4. David Livingstone: Africa's Trailblazer by Janet and Geoff Benge

 

Another true story about David Livingstone that I actually read because I was teaching it in school. I think I enjoyed it more than the kiddos did though, and that's why it made it into this list! In case you haven't noticed, I love true stories. There is so much inspiration found in watching the lives of others. (Get your copy here!)

 

5. Every Good Endeavor: Connecting Your Work to God's Work by Timothy Keller

 

If you've ever wondered what the purpose of work is or how you can stay true to your values while advancing in your field of expertise, this is the book for you! Keller offers deep insight and surprising advice and answers relevant questions about our work! By the end of this book, you'll be walking a little taller and striving for excellence, discipline, creativity, integrity and creativity when it comes to your work. (Get your copy here!)

 

6. Love Does: Discover A Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World by Bob Goff

 

This book. This book is great. Bob Goff tells unbelievable stories and experiences from his life and you just feel as if you're sitting with him in a coffee shop as shares valuable lessons he's learned in life. I was moved to do things because, well, love does. (Get your copy here!)

 

 

What were some of the best books you read in 2017? I'd love some recommendations!


 

7 Ways to Saturate Your Life with Scripture

FaithAmanda Walter | Maple Alps5 Comments

If you’ve chosen to read this post, chances are you have met or are one of those Christians who aim to read the Bible every year. Bible reading plans are often printed out and laid next to our reading areas, but somewhere around February (Or 1 Chronicles - whichever comes first), the boxes stop getting checked off. The important thing is you tried, and you realize the importance of reading God’s word. But don’t let the discouragement stop you.

Since this is not a post about why you should read the bible, but rather how you can saturate your life with scripture, I will not go deep into that topic.

Just know that the Bible is literally God-breathed (2 Timothy 3:16) and is God’s very word to us! It’s His love letter and His guidance for our lives, and the very key to knowing who God is.

Reading the Bible guards against false teaching, changes our hearts to be more like Christ, challenges us in every way possible, and is for each of us.

I would say that is reason enough! So how can we saturate our lives with Scripture and keep God’s word in our hearts? I am sharing 7 practical ways that have helped me personally. Please stay till the end and tell us in the comments how you practice keeping scripture in your hearts!

Saturate Your Life with Scripture | www.maplealps.com

 

Set aside times every day

I’ve caught myself go a whole day without stopping to read the scriptures. Don’t let this be you! Set timers to wake up early in the morning. Set alarms to remind you to read before bed. Whenever you feel you want to spend time in the Word, do it - but it helps to create habits. We are, after all, creatures of habit.

 

Don’t just Read The Bible - Study It

In this fast-paced world, it’s tempting (and unfortunately common) to read fast just to say we’ve done it. Resist! Take your time. Don’t just read the Bible. Study it. For more on how to study the Bible, check out this post here.

 

Memorize Scripture

“Thy Word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against Thee.”

Take time to memorize scripture. It will make it easier to resist temptation and help you discern what is good in your life.

 

Use Scripture Art in your home

Sure, you could keep some sticky notes on your bathroom mirror, but you could also try putting up framed verses on your walls to make it pretty. Display your favourite scriptures all over your home in sweet, attractive ways.

 

Listen to an Audio Bible

This is a fantastic thing to do, especially when you have a long commute. The Bible itself talks about the “hearing” of the Word, so I think this fits quite nicely. Sometimes you will hear something that you missed while reading, and when you go to read it later, it will be reinforced by what you heard. You can even find audio Bibles that are dramatized or read in an engaging way if you’re afraid it will put you to sleep.

 

Share God’s Word

Don’t hide your light under a bushel! Share what you have learned with others! This not only spreads the Good News but also reinforces what you have already learned. You never really know something until you tell someone else. That’s probably why my friend in medical school tells me all about the things she learns before a test now that I think about it …

 

Pray through Scripture promises

I talked a little bit about this before, but pray through Scripture promises! The Bible is full of promises for us to claim. Once I became aware of this, I couldn’t stop seeing them every time I picked up the Bible! God has so much He wants to bless us with - all we need to do is humbly ask!

 

bible promises www.maplealps.com
 

How do you saturate your life with Scripture?